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Peter Shapiro | No Additional Grateful Dead 50 Shows In The Works

Peter Shapiro | No Additional Grateful Dead 50 Shows In The Works - Once it became clear the demand for Fare Thee Well - a celebration of 50 years of Grateful Dead would be to levels unseen for any artist let alone the Dead, discussion among fans turned to whether the band and promoters would add more shows. Fare Thee Well co-producer Peter Shapiro put the kibosh on the potential for more shows featuring Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart and Bob Weir all sharing the stage together in an interview with Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune.

"There’s no extra dates planned. For Chicago or anywhere else,” Shapiro responded when asked whether additional dates would be added. Additional dates would be a damned if you do, damned if you don't type situation for producers, in our opinion. While there's no doubt many ticketless fans would welcome an opportunity for more to be able to witness the Fare Thee Well lineup in action, if you add more shows you upset those who made their travel arrangement based upon the initial announcement that mentioned Fare Thee Well would be the last and only shows featuring the core four (and Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti).

Shapiro also discussed the potential ways to share the experience with those who can't attend and we're happy to see webcasts are among the options. We'll soon find out whether Peter and Madison House go with pay-per-view specials, internet webcasts and/or simulcasts. “We’re exploring all ideas. But this is a way that technology we didn’t have in the '90s can really help make this event as Grateful Dead-fan friendly as possible. They couldn’t beam shows in the '90s into your house, your phone, another place where people gather. And we’ll have that,” the impresario said. “We’re going to try to create ways to experience the show outside the stadium, using technology. Whether you’re at home, or out in the community, we’re working on a way to bring the show to fans who aren’t in Soldier Field with high-level audio and video.”

Peter is hoping the announcement of simulcasts, pay-per-views and/or webcasts will help settle the secondary ticketing market down. When asked about the ridiculous figure some Fare Thee Well tickets have been listed for on sites like StubHub, Shapiro responded, “Those numbers aren’t real, and they have nothing to do with the music. …. (But) with the technology and bringing the show to fans who couldn’t get tickets, to enable them to see it, we want to do a reverse jujitsu against the secondary market.” He also added, “I don’t think that’s real. I wave my hand at these prices. When you post (an asking price on the secondary market), it doesn’t mean you definitely have the ticket on you. Doing this in 2015, technology has its benefits and challenges. The benefits are that I hope we can share this show and many can experience it as if they were there. The challenge is the secondary market -- you create a false impression of what these tickets are worth. I can’t control it. We’ve talked about what we do about it.”

Another topic Shapiro discussed with Kot was the tickets that were available to Chicago Bears season ticket holders, "Soldier field has ticketing deals. The (season ticket holders who have) personal seat licenses (PSL’s) get a right to buy a ticket for every event the stadium hosts. That’s part of a putting on an event at Soldier Field in 2015. There’s nothing I can do about that. As it was, we had a larger than normal allocation for the fan base based on the history of the band with the venue. I can’t go into details, but it was more than the usual 10 percent allotment for the fan base (requesting via mail order). Significantly more.” Only club season ticket holders were able to purchase tickets before the general public, whereas at other similar venues all season ticket holders are able to get in on pre-sales so it could've been worse.

Head to Chicago Tribune to read the entire interview including Peter's thoughts on what went down with the old school mail order. Fare Thee Well will take place at Soldier Field in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend.

The other big story about Fare Thee Well today is that there will be no camping allowed at Soldier Field.


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